Photos on Ice

The Winter Olympics are in full swing and many are tuning in to watch the figure skating competition, which prompted me to look back into our collections for images of ice skating from years past. I particularly enjoy the photos of Washingtonians enjoying ice skating on the Reflecting Pool, which stretches between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. It became an unofficial ice rink for locals in the early part of the 20th century whenever it froze solid enough. (Skating on the Reflecting Pool is no longer permitted, so these older photos give us the best glimpse of this past experience.) This photo from almost exactly 100 years ago caught my attention, as it evoked my favorite sport on ice, one also featured in the Winter Olympics: ice hockey.

[Ice skating at Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C.] Photo by Harris & Ewing, 1922 January. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/hec.41910

The photo above, from January 1922 of a young lady about to strike a small hockey puck on the Reflecting Pool, with the Lincoln Memorial providing a dramatic backdrop, led me to search for related images. This one below, of a faceoff, added to the story. It’s hard to know if the rest of the photos taken at the same time are closely connected, though I think I see some of the same figures. Regardless, everyone skating around certainly seems to be having a good time, based on the second photo below!

[Ice skating at Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C.] Photo by Harris & Ewing, 1922 January. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/hec.41911

[Ice skating at Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C.] Photo by Harris & Ewing, 1922 January. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/hec.41909

Enjoy a few more views of the Reflecting Pool as a venue for all types of winter sports – skating, sledding, hockey and just general fun!

[People ice skating in front of Lincoln Memorial] Photo by National Photo Company, between 1909 and 1932. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/npcc.18359

Secy. Denby’s children skating on Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool. Photo by Harris & Ewing, 1923 February 17. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/hec.42805

Ricardo and Angelica Pueyrredon putting on ice skates at Reflecting Pool. Photo by National Photo Company, 1925 Dec. 29. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3a51305

[Ice skating; Lincoln Memorial in background. Washington, D.C.] Photo by Harris & Ewing, between 1923 and 1929. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/hec.32642

[People ice skating, Washington Monument in background] Photo by National Photo Company, between 1909 and 1932. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/npcc.18358

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One Comment

  1. Thomas Holbrook
    February 22, 2022 at 1:43 pm

    I’m an LC retiree, and enjoy these immensely–Please continue the series of
    unique historical photos of (mainly) ordinary DC citizens enjoying the unique public space of the National Mall. I remember attending the public kite-flying
    Sundays on the Mall in recent decades.

    As well as a public enjoymen, these all demonstrate the enjoyable accessibility of a National public space for all citizens of a great democratic nation.

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